West of the Pecos

Cowboy Church

Lots of Cowboy Churches here in the North Panhandle of Texas….and lots of wind, which I guess, go hand in hand.  I can’t say I’m warming up to the Texas Panhandle–it’s windy, cold and….

Clouds

…..kind of desolate.  Where are all the trees?  I’m camped here at Monahans Sand Hills State Parks, on the flight path of the sandhill cranes that also fly over my Alaskan homestead.   Texas has a very good state parks system and I aim to take advantage of it.

Camping in Sandhill

Believe it or not, this is my camping spot–I’m all hooked up and hunkered down as storm clouds roar through along with lightening and thunder, which are one and the same.  And it rains like hell.

Table

I step out for a look-see when the thunder gets going and am greeted by an Andrew Wyeth landscape.   Sand is everywhere–holy silica.

Palo Duro Entrance Sign

The next morning, after shaking the sand out of everything including my ears, it’s south to the Palo Duro Canyon State Park.  The Texans boast that this is the second largest canyon in the US–and it turns out to be.  The Texans do a lot of boasting so we Alaskans have threatened to cut Alaska in half just to make Texas the third largest state.

P D Entrance Station

The entrance station was built by the CCC–the right half actually, and the left half is a pretty good imitation.

Entry

Just look at this curved doorway entrance in the CCC-half.  Vintage CCC architecture.  Love it!

Coronado Inn

The Coronado Inn was designed as a multi story building but only one story was completed, also by the CCC.  Today it’s the Visitors Center and boasts a small CCC museum as well.

Palo Duro Canyon

This is the view out the windows on the rim–and it is indeed a huge canyon.  I spend two days on the canyon floor and take some short hikes.  My next stops are south to Balmorhea Springs State Park and Fort Davis and beyond!  Stay tuned!

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